Soft Pretzels

Posted 17 November 2010 by

So for some reason I decided to make pretzels.  Soft pretzels, no less. My recipe was inspired by, and adapted from, the recipe for soft pretzels at Sugarlaws. Here’s the thing: not only have I never made pretzels before, I’ve never actually eaten one either. So who knows how these will turn out? Pretzels are a German speciality and are usually dense and chewy. These, however, are going to be soft pretzels.

Soft pretzel sprinkled with sea salt

Ingredients (makes six pretzels):

  • 50 ml water
  • 50 ml milk
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • pinch of white sugar
  • 175 g strong white flour
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • hot water
  • 3 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • sea salt, to scatter

First, heat the milk and water until warm and add the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Leave it for about 10 minutes to get frothy. Mix the flour, salt and sugar and add the yeast mixture.

Stir it all up until combined into a dough and then knead it for about 10 minutes until smooth.

Leave the dough to rise until it has doubled in size. Being a cold November day, this took mine nearly two hours.

So far, so good. Here’s where it starts getting pretzel-y. Separated the dough into six pieces and roll them out into long, thin sausages. You might have to roll each piece out a few times, letting them rest in between and get more elastic.

Next, shape them into proper pretzel shapes. I attempted to shape them into proper pretzel shapes. They actually weren’t too bad, but it was all undone (literally) by the next step. Boil some water in a pan and add the bicarbonate of soda. Drop each pretzel in for several seconds. I had a problem because as I tried to hook them out, they fell apart a little and I had to just reshape them as best I could. They ended up a bit haphazard. Anyway, then (after sprinkling with sea salt) they are ready to bake.

I cooked them for about 8 minutes at 220° C.

And there they are, ready to eat. Too much salt! Sea salt always looks so pretty, but it’s also made of salt. I had to knock quite a bit off, but apart from that, the pretzels were lovely. Really soft, slightly sweet, and of course, salty. Definitely worth doing again, just with less salt and finding a good method to remove them intact from the boiling water.

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